The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, rapidly growing in prestige, has announced a stunning line-up for the Arclight Hollywood venue, where it runs from 20-25 April. Thirty-three films from five countries will showcase the best in Bollywood and the diaspora to an increasingly broad audience. “As filmmakers of Indian descent forge new relationships in Hollywood, we invite moviegoers and industry professionals to experience our unique and wide ranging program which includes thought-provoking dramas, engaging documentaries, along with a touch of light hearted fare and a taste of Bollywood,” describes executive director Christina Marouda.
Starting the festival will be the delightful Cooking With Stella, directed by Dilip Mehta and with an all-star cast in Seema Biswas, Lisa Ray and Shriya Saran. Bollywood is strongly represented with two of its biggest most-recent hits, Three Idiots and Kaminey; and also a remastered version of Ashes to Ashes (Raakh) with a young Aamir Khan in a revenge movie.
Abhay Deol and Tanisshta Chatterjee star in Road, Movie, which is, umm, a road movie about a young man passing through the deserts of Rajasthan; and Harishchandrachi Factory is the magnificent Oscar-entry about the birth of the Indian film industry. But one of the gems of the festival is the delightful fantasy Fatso with Ranvir Shorey and Gul Panag about a young man who dies too soon and is determined to find his way back into this world and to reclaim the woman he loves.
The wonderful British comedy movie Mad, Sad & Bad is about a mother – Meera Syal – who attempts to find some joy in her dysfunctional children, who include a psychiatrist (mad), a daughter who doesn’t want to get married (bad) and a scriptwriter who is fruitlessly wooing his best friend’s wife (sad).
Finishing the festival will be the Australian movie The Waiting City with Radha Mitchell and Samrat Chakrabarti. Set in Kolkata, it tells the story of an Australian couple who have arrived to collect their adopted child and the effects that the bustling and enigmatic city has on them.